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To prevent Geomyces spores from being carried between caves on visitors’ shoes and clothing, the United States Forest Service has closed all its caves — with bats, and without — in the eastern and southern U.S., along with the Rocky Mountains and much of the Great Plains. Its other regions may follow suit. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has also declared caves in national wildlife refuges to be off-limits.
Originally posted by fraterormus
The thing that seems odd about this story is that Geomyces Spores are common in most houses, and very common on childhood playgrounds and sandboxes. So, this couldn't possibly be a measure to protect humans
University of Hawaii, Botany Department
We often come in contact with fungi during our everyday routines, some which are potentially pathogenic to human and others not. We may be exposed simply by walking by construction areas where the soil has been disturbed and scattered into the wind by the machinery, we are constantly exposed while we are hiking, jogging, hunting or fishing. During recreation when we injure ourselves, such as with puncture wound, abrasions, burns or even by inhalation of a large number of harmful spores. Fortunately, most of us have an immune system that will protect us from such infections by fungi, but some individuals will contract fungal diseases from such injuries.
A little brown bat will eat at least half its body weight in insects every night from April to October, Kunz said. When a female bat is nursing her pup — bats give birth to one pup per year — she will eat her entire body weight every night. Multiplied by a few million bats, that’s several metric tons of insects removed from the air throughout North America.
if the bats died out, farmers would have to spend $750,000 to $1.2 million on pesticides every summer to protect their cotton crops.
“Without bats, people are going to end up using more pesticides, there will be more water and soil contamination, more human contamination,” Kunz said.
Originally posted by antar
You sound very learned. Good to know about the diseases you can pick up in a cave, yuck! Think about that in the survival mode...
Originally posted by ModernAcademia
Star and Flag because it's an interesting topic, and your opening post was very well presented.
Monsanto makes GMO Seeds and pesticides.
Now do a google search with this "Monsanto Fungus"
Seems like they are becoming experts at it
Some investment analysts have anointed Monsanto, the 800-pound gorilla of the food biotechnology industry, the worst stock of the year. Whether or not the company is really doing that badly, it is not having a good year.
Originally posted by stereologist
The thread is overlooking the fact that most caves in the eastern US are controlled by private individuals. More are controlled by caving groups. Few are federally controlled. Closures in the mid-Atlantic states are being done by caving groups and individuals. This is a preventive measure to see what happens when the caves are closed to human traffic. I have spoken to friends of mine that are active cavers and they all think that human activity may be the reason for the spread of the disease. These people are concerned about wildlife and think that voluntary closures are important.
Originally posted by antar
Good to know about the diseases you can pick up in a cave, yuck! Think about that in the survival mode...
Five years after a bat-killing plague was discovered in the eastern United States, and three years after a fungus was linked to that plague, scientists have finally identified the pathogen and confirmed it is indeed responsible for the deaths, reports Reuters. The deadly white fungus Geomyces destructans is responsible for white-nose syndrome, which has killed about 1 million bats since 2006, wiping out more than 90% of some species of cave-dwelling bats.
Geomyces destructans hits bats while they hibernate, causing them to use their limited body fat reserves and exhibit strange behavior, such as flying deep into caves where they cannot find insects to eat or outside during the day. As the fungus spreads westward, wildlife experts worry about the potential effects the loss of insect-eating bat populations might have, with one study estimating the flying mammal is worth $3.7 billion a year.